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Division of Child Protection / Center for Families

The Division of Child Protection, also known as the Center for Families, within the Department of Pediatrics, is focused on the problem of child abuse and neglect. We have activities in four main areas: clinical, research, teaching, and advocacy.

Clinical Programs

Our clinical work spans the range from prevention to forensic diagnosis to treatment.  Please click here to learn more about our clinical programs.


Our research focuses on two major issues related to child maltreatment.

The Prevention of Child Maltreatment

  • The Safe Environment for Every Kid (SEEK) project has been funded by the Maryland Department of Human Resources, the US DHHS, Administration for Children and Families, the CDC and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. It is a clinical research project, involving enhanced pediatric primary care.  By helping address common psychosocial problems, SEEK aims to strengthen families, support parents and parenting, promote children's health, development and safety, and help prevent child abuse and neglect.

Understanding the Antecedents and Outcomes of Child Maltreatment 

  • This project,  LONGitudinal Studies on Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN), has been funded by the US DHHS, Administration for Children and Families and the National Institute for Drug Abuse for over 25 years. Together with researchers in four other states, we aim to enhance our understanding of the antecedents and outcomes of child maltreatment. The study has yielded a wealth of information. 


Our interdisciplinary faculty and staff teach a wide variety of topics related to child maltreatment within the University of Maryland, the state of Maryland, nationally and internationally. Medical students and residents regularly rotate through or do electives in our Division. The Care Clinic serves as a training site for clinical and counseling psychology students as well as medical professionals. We have funding by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention to train law enforcement officers in Maryland regarding medical aspects of child abuse and neglect.

Another grant from the Maryland Department of Health involves teaching doctors and nurses in Maryland about child abuse and neglect.

Our faculty and staff are active in advocating for improved laws, policies and programs concerning child maltreatment at the local, state, and national levels.

Division Faculty and Staff

Howard Dubowitz, MD, MS
(Professor of Pediatrics & Division Head)  

Jackie Blair, LCMFT
(Care Clinic Therapist) 

Randy Chang, PsyD
(Licensed Psychologist) 

Forrest Closson, MD

Sarah Jordan, LGPC
(Care Clinic Therapist) 

Gary Klein, MD
(Care Clinic Psychiatrist)  

Wendy Lane, MD, MPH
(Clinical Associate Professor, Epidemiology & Public Health and Pediatrics)  

Nancy Procopio, MPH
(Program Specialist)

April Rectanus, EdD, MA, LCPC
(Care Clinic Director) 

Charles Shubin, MD
(Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Mercy Medical Center) 


Contact Information

Division of Child Protection / Center for Families
520 W Lombard St, 1st Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: 410-706-1703
Fax: 410-706-3017 

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